Sunday, December 19, 2010


Wow! What a week! A member of the branch presidency went to visit the home of Maria, Paula, Edna and Marianna with the 4 Jau missionaries. We explained about the Holy Ghost and how the Holy Ghost will help Edna (she´s the one with the evil voices in her head). President Robson asked if we could dedicate the house...well, we´ve tried everything else. Pres.Robson offered the prayer. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission. With the power and authority of our Savior Jesus Christ, Pres. ordered that any unclean thing in the house should leave and never come back. All four of us felt in that moment something leave. Elder Adam then bore a poderoso testimony, one that left no doubt in my mind that this is the Lord´s work, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. We left and all of them felt something, but when we returned the next day...let´s just say that Satan has great power and we cannot force people to choose happiness and joy. They don´t want the gospel in their lives. One of the husbands yelled at us and told us never to come back and all of the women said the same thing. We´ve done our part, we have done absolutely everything we can for them but they don´t want the gifts of God in their lives, they are not ready to sacrifice the things of the world for the things of God, and so we are here to find people who want the gifts of God.

District Meeting

Christmas Time is here, complete with lights and presents. Yesterday in District meeting, we had a cake for my birthday (YEAH SISTER POAST) and everyone sang 'happy birthday'. And last week we had CHINESE FOOD, seriously 9 months without Chinese is not the greatest thing in the world. Afterward, we went to the ice cream shop and had a bowl of 12 different flavors of ice cream, with toppings galore and we ate and ate and ate and had an ice cream fight...yeah, we cleaned up afterwards it was fun.

The birthday missionaries

But don´t despair, we worked and worked and worked some more. We´ve met a ton of people and are teaching. Not sure if we´ll have a baptism this week, but seriously, after 6 weeks of my previous comp, this 6 weeks were perfect! Right now we are in a city that is close to a lake and a river and we´re going to have barbecued fish! YEAH!!!!!!!!!

One thing that's great but is kind of sad too, is that we´re working so hard that I don´t have time to think about you guys. You are amazing and you are all in my prayers, but I am so happy here and I am so thrilled to be serving my Lord. Granted there are moments, for example when we´re singing 'Away in a Manger' (I always think of you dad) but life is good, life is great. This is the work of God, this is our chance to do something worthwhile. I´m not allowing myself to be homesick. Seriously, that is the thing. Work hard everyday and the Lord will bless us. This is the work of God, I have no doubt about this. Truly what a wonderful opportunity to learn and live. Serve with all of our heart, mind, might and strength. Do the work and receive the blessings. And learn of Faith and Patience, to know the Lord´s time.

Hey Guys, I love ya! I´ll be talking to you when I´m 22.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Okay, so wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!

So, the three people that we had marked for baptism are in a family that is very very very poor. I don´t think I have ever seen a place so humble, and they have 23 people who live in a shack. Not kidding. We´ve been teaching them for three weeks. The mom, Maria, has six daughters- all of whom live with their husbands/boyfriends and children in this shack. Maria and two of her daughters, Paula and Marianna, none of whom can read, all wanted to be baptized. As well, we´ve been teaching one of the other daughters, Edna. Edna hears voices in her head, so we brought Elder Adam and another returned missionary to give her a blessing. The voices stop whenever one of us visits....but she can´t be baptised because she´s not married and she is the most firm of these people. So it was a week of rollercoasters for them.

So, they were supposed to be baptised Sunday and due to some other reasons, I with one of our young women got the assignment to walk with them to church. They decided they didn´t want to come to church and didn´t want to be baptised. The pastor of the God Is Love Church (don´t really like him) came and told them a ton of lies about the church and how they need to return to the God is Love Church. So, remember it´s just me and this young woman...and so I prayed and taught them about the atonement, about the authority of God and how this is the only true church. They were all hesitant but somehow (not really sure how) got them to church...where Elder Adam talked to them about baptism, but right now probably isn´t the time for them.

During this time, we were all fasting, and so I said to God, (I was a little ticked off), "God I´ve done my part and so sorry but I need a baptism." And at this moment Gabbs ran up to me and said, "Sister, Sister, my mom said that I can get baptised today!" Gabbi is a friend of a family in the church and we´ve been teaching her. She knew the church was true, but her mom is part of the God is Love Church (this church is giving me a headache) and said that if she joins this church she is joining the church of the Devil...yep, so we´ve been praying for her and on Sunday, God answered our prayers.

I almost cried and so I gave her a huge hug and then we got the baptism font ready and we were able to baptise Gabbs. Elder Adam and Elder Lucianno were able to baptise someone as well. Then the four of us went back to work. The baptism was so special. She has such a strong support system (she´s 14) and it felt so great to know that God had accepted our crazy week of work. Seriously, this week we worked so hard, and it all payed off.

The thing that is so monumental with us, be us missionaries or members, is that we have a knowledge. We know for certain that the church is true. And because we know that it´s true we do crazy, wacky unheard of things (be it walking three hours without shoes or setting up an amazing nativity exhibit) to help them understand that this is the gospel of Christ, that this is the only path they can take that will lead to eternal life and salvation. It´s how we can´t have fear when we are teaching the gospel of Christ, we have to be BOLD, like Pres.Castro Deus taught. I know without a doubt that this is the Gospel of Christ, that it is only through this path that we can have happiness with our families forever. This is the place where families can have peace, where the complex doctrines are made simple, where we learn about the love of God, about how God will never leave us by the wayside but that He will jump in the hole with us.

It is not enough to serve a mission. We must serve Christ every day, every day we have to strive to be more like our older Brother. Yes, we are all imperfect, we all have weakness but through the atonement of our Lord and Savior we truly can become clean again, like it reads in Issiah 1:18. All of us have felt at some time the pain of sin, the weight of guilt and the burden of sadness but I testify for you that because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, because he bled for us in the Garden, we can become clean again. We can wash all the dirty things away. We can fly for lack of a better word. I´m not perfect, no I have a ton of weaknesses, but I trust in the words of Ether 12:27, that if we turn to the Lord our weaknesses will be made into strengths.

We choose to love, we choose to be happy. It is my Christmas Wish that everyone can choose happiness. Look to the good things in the world, of our God, our Families, all things that Jesus Christ created for us, flowers, rivers, everything. Know that I love you guys, and that I am so happy to be serving here.

Take care of yourselves, you guys are great...oh and happy birthday Meg! I´m in denial. I still remember when you were born, and now you´re driving and in a year dating. I might send you a soccer jersey!



So we´re teaching, teaching and teaching! It is wonderful...the kids of the branch call the sisters Tia (Aunt) and so I am now Tia Taply...yep lots of laughs but I love the kids here! I love everyone here, it´s great.

So, Sister Carvalho and I. and Elder Adam and comp are working really hard in Jau...for Conference we worked together and our two branches had the best numbers of the week...yeah it rocks when our district is in unison. Elder Adam told me that I´m gonna be senior next transfer (trying to talk him out of it but he said it´s written in stone) and so I´m being thrown on divisions and having to do all the stuff seniors do, eyeroll. But, if it is what God wants, here I go.

We have three baptisms schedualed for this Sunday. And on Monday, we and the Elders had lunch in the chapel with a member of the district presidentcy. He taught us a ton...I think we talked for three hours about the importance of using the spirit in a lesson and how one of the most important things we can do is teach about prayer and feeling the spirit...if our investigators feel something they will be baptised. It was a really great moment for all of us.

Sunday night was great. We didn´t have all of our lessons because we didn´t work in our area Saturday (Elder Lucianno is sick) and so Sunday we worked with Kate (a returned missionary) and Elder Adam came along with Servio (the returned mish who served in Manaus and knows Eric) and taught some of our investigators and gave blessings...lots of laughs and really great.

Hope you´re all doing well...remember that God loves you and that the Lord is blessing me here. Seriously Dad, I am so happy here...the work is hard but I would not be anywhere else, seriously! Love you guys, Shan

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jau Thanksgiving 2010

I got my birthday package!! Dad, sent me music to Edward Grieg and the Great Escape?! Only you!

So, another wonderful week in Lago Silvera! We had a baptism Friday and it was amazing. His name is Carlos and he came to church on his own. When we taught him, he accepted everything. We had a branch activity and the whole branch came and then we had the baptism. It was TOTALLY AWESOME!!! The members here are helping us so much. His heart is so pure, it's great to see how the gospel is blessing his life. When we first talked to him, he said he wanted peace and the spirit to help him stay away from the bad things in the world. When he was confirmed on Sunday, the Branch President said that the spirit would guide him and protect him from the evil things in the world...yep, it rocked!

We´re working with others and it's so obvious how much the people need the peace and joy that the gospel brings. My DL yesterday in DC gave us the doctrine on how because of our testimonies, we don´t need to fear when we testify and invite others to keep the commandments of God. We know, and oh, how I know, that without the gospel in our lives we would literally have nothing.

Another reason why we truly live in a small small this activity a young man came up to me and asked, "Do you know an Elder Stapley who is a missionary in Manaus?" I replied that yes, he was my brother. Well, he served a mission in Manaus and knows Eric... only in this church could two siblings who serve in a different country know the same people...

Oh and a funny story, on Thursday, our DL and companion (Elder Adam and Elder Luciano, who live in Jau as well) were with us to interview Carlos and as we were walking we saw a cat...only this cat had a bird in it´s mouth. Sister Carvalho started screaming at the cat and the cat ran into the house. So she started clapping and when the lady of the house came out, Sister Carvalho started talking really fast about the cat and the bird, and started yelling at the elders to do something (they were too busy laughing) and then the bird died...yeah, I´m gonna remember that one for a while...

It´s great to have a missionary couple living in the city with us! They give us food and helped us fix our oven (HALLELUJAH)! And after 7 hours, I know everything about fixing ovens! So now, along with my pen making abilities, shoe creating abilities and horrible Portuguese abilities, I can add oven fixing to my list of skills acquired here in Brasil!

Here's my Thanksgiving List:

Things that I am grateful for here in Jau:

1. A wonderful Companion
2. Trees and rivers and flowers
3. Sunscreen (yes, you can laugh)
4. A good DL and his companion
5. Members who help us fix our ovens and give us food
6. The wind
7. A great apartment

Things that I am grateful for in the mission:

1. Friends
2. President and Sister Tanner
3. My recent converts
4. Patience and love
5. Sister Monterio
6. Christmas and Birthday Gifts (The Elders cooked the brownies you sent because our oven didn´t work, and the goldfish were perfect!)

Things that I am thankful for;

1. A mom and a dad who never yelled at me
2. A mom and a dad who have a practically perfect marriage
3. A bunch of sisters who have never given me a reason to be ashamed, and of who I have so much pride in
4. A brother who is serving with his whole heart, might, mind and strength
5. Examples of wonderful leaders and friends who taught by example and by the spirit
6. Of older boys and girls who showed me that it´s okay to be different
7. Of always having food on the table
8. Of the opportunity I have to receive an education
9. Of living 5 mins from the temple
10. Of knowing what things are most important
11. Of friends and of dancing in the rain
12. Of culture and knowledge
13. Of living in a home where the principles of the gospel were taught by example and with love...truly an amazing gift.

Of these things I am thankful, but I must speak of one Savior Jesus Christ. He is my brother, my Lord and my friend. He has always been near to me, he was there in sad and in happy moments. He is my comforter, my King. He suffered for me in the Garden, I do not know how many drops of blood were shed for me. Afterwards, he died for me that one day I might live again with him, with my Heavenly Father and with my family. He is my perfect example. It is now, during my mission, that I have come to know Him so much stronger than before. Dad-it´s like you said, this is the 'spirit quest' of the is here where we truly come to know ourselves and to know our God. I have so much more to learn, so much more to do, but my heart is filled with gladness. Thank you all, you're amazing. I have been so blessed because of my family.
Meg have a great birthday!
Thank you all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



So, Christmas has come to town! Trees and lights and so many cool things! And there are so many nativities, Mom, I´m searching for the perfect one. I´m in heaven. And yes, this is the shoe capital...everyone works in shoes, and they are PERFECT!!!!! So beautiful and so cheap, I will probably buy some, sigh! And we have green everywhere, it´s like 'SOMEWHERE THAT`S GREEN'...after 4 transfers, I am now near TREES!

And on the note of Christmas could you please send me the words to 'I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS'? My companion loves that song and we´re going to translate it into Portuguese! If you want to email me other words to hymns that would be great, too.

So much has happened. First, Dad, could you please tell President Johnson that his blessings are totally accurate...I don´t know if you remember, but he said something along the lines about me having sick companions. Every one of my companions has had to go to the hospital. Sister Carvalho is no exception...she got a kidney stone Thursday, and we stayed in the house until Monday. She´s better now, she didn´t need the laser procedure but I spent a bit of money on medication for her. She's paid me back. We do not have an oven so we´ve been eating out, last night I had the most amazing burger that I've eaten in the past six months, oh it was perfect.

And so now, onto the work! We have a baptism marked for this Saturday, he is golden. He visited church Sunday and told me that he wanted to be baptised. If all goes well, he'll be baptised Saturday! It feels so long since I´ve had a baptism. As well, we started teaching his neighbor who the missionaries visited 5 years ago. She has a 'Finding Faith in Christ' VIDEO! Not a DVD, I nearly started laughing, wow have times changed. A ton of people here are catholic, but are willing to let us talk to them. I don´t know what else will happen, but work work work.

This Thursday we are having an activity of cake and ice cream...yeah!

Sister Carvalho and I have been working hard, it is wonderful! We´re trying to get more than 30 lessons this week and are striving to do our best, but also to still have fun and laugh...oh the work is wonderful. We´ve been talking about the places we will travel. When I get home I want to go back to Europe, to India and Thailand, to China and to- well... just book me a flight and I´ll go. Oh, and conference in October...everyone is going to be there!

I´m in the book of Mormon right now, just finished Helaman and have just read about the birth of our Savior, about the great and wonderful sign of light, of how there was no darkness...and that is what the Gospel is for us. Because of our Savior, we are able to have light in our lives. No matter what difficulties we have in our lives, no matter how sad, how hard things get, we have the light of the Savior and we can follow Him, and He will lead us back to our Father in Heaven. As Joseph Smith wrote, a voice of gladness, a voice of good tidings both for the living and for the dead. As I serve my mission, I see how merciful God is with each and every one of us. We all mess up, a ton, but He is always there with a hand if we will just accept it.

Anyway, I love you guys. Family, send me photos of my little elf sister and of you guys in Disneyland. Mom, I expect photos of Creche! Love you all, and thanks Tracy and Treyonna for the words of encouragement!

Sister Stapley

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Wow!!! What a wonderful adventure! So much has happened. First, I'll share the sad news...we took the family of Jackaline to the temple and it was such a wonderful experience, but the next day they said they didn´t want us to return and share more messages with them. They are so caught up in the things of the world, of cigars and alcohol (sorry my english is horrible)that they are not ready nor do they want to feel guilty. Respectfully we left, but I felt horrible, like I didn´t do all that I could. My comp didn't agree with me, but I keep the peace by silently reciting the timeless words of the movie, Night in the Museum, "Who´s evolved?". These two words helped again, the next night, when my comp told me that I shouldn´t be listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's CD of Celebrate, yeah right.

So, Monday came and I find out I WAS TRANSFERRED!!! HALLELUJAH!!! HARK, THE ANGELS SING!!!!! YEAH, FESTA!!! Tuesday morning arrived and I was at the bus station in Campinas. I got to have a chat with Elder Corbitt (he's training a Brazillian!!!) and Elder Rasmussen (he´s doing great) as well as Sister Monterio (she is opening an area and training an American, wow!) and consoling one of the other sisters because of how the transfer went. Sister Poast has been promoted to Senior and is in my new zone! So, I am now companions to Sister Carvalho (who is from Manuas, no joke! Are Eric and I destined to know all the same people?!) and am in the Zion of the mission, the Zona Botacatu (Boo-ta-cat-too)! I couldn't be happier with this arrangement!

My city is Jau (you pronounce it Ja-U, think like Jane talks in Disney's Tarzan movie). We have the great opportunity to have a park near our house, a river (dirty- but who cares) filled with lovely turtles, and a central market with all the cheep clothes you could want! I'll be buying some new shirts soon, (it´s really really hot). There are two elders working on the other side of the city! YEAH!!!!!!! WOOOOTT!!! Yes, I am totally happy! (Jau is known as the national capital of women's shoes. Could this be heaven?!) We are almost on the western edge of our mission. we're about 150 miles from the mission home.
The river running through Jau.

Now the grand we got to Jau. So, here´s what happened. We (Me, Sister Poast, our two companions, the zone leader and a new elder) left Campinas at 11:30 am on a bus for Paricicaba. We arrived at 1. We got some lunch and got on another bus for a 3 hour bus ride. We even left our mission boundaries for 1 hour (into the Sao Paulo Norte mission) before arriving in Botacatu around 6. We walked for a while with our suit cases (Mom you´d be proud, I have the smallest suitcases of any of the ELDERS or SISTERS) and stopped at the house of missionary number one...the house was horrible. So, we had three hours and did contacts and encountered a GOLDEN CONTACT, we gave her name to the Elders. They visited her later that night and she accepted the invitation to be baptised. After that we walked to missionary #2 house (much much better) and ordered Pizza Frita (baked pizza) with chicken and bacon. Oh, it was like the chicken thing (chicken bake)you buy at Costco but so so so much better! Then Sister Poast, me and our companions stayed up talking until 1 (normal- for sisters that need to catch up after months apart!) and then went to sleep. We woke up at 6am and left at 6:30 for the bus station, the other elders met up with us again. Our bus left at 8 am and after two hours we arrived in Jau! We dropped off our suitcases in my PERFECT APARTMENT, and are now here in the internet house with our Elders. We'll be grabbing some lunch because all 4 of us are starving and then we'll get to rest for a few hours... three buses for a long amount of time is not very good for my head or for my stomach!

I am so excited to work. I am ready to roll up my sleeves. As long as we actually work, I will be happy. I feel like I didn´t do my very best in Nova Veneza but now I have a blank slate and I'm going to work and work and work. My comp, from what I have heard, is good and so here we work work.

In the Book of Mormon, I´m to the wars with Moroni, Lehi and Teancum. Wow, they broke all of the rules but the did it because they had the right reasons. They worked and they worked and truly they're all examples to follow! Be brave and be full of courage and always do your best. Every day you learn something new, and every day you have the opportunity to show what things you are most grateful for. I love all of you guys and hope all is well.


Saturday, November 6, 2010


Got the package, thank you!!!


Sharee is the coolest of all...she sent me a letter!!!

So I have a challenge for you guys! Yesterday, in District meeting, we learned about how our bishop and stake president need to be our best here is the challenge. Dad, rest of the stake presidency and bishops...go on a division with the elders at least one time this month. You will learn alot and the elders will as well. Good luck!!!

This week has been intersting. We encountered a modern miracle. Friday night, Jackaline said that she wasn´t interested any more and that she was going back to her old church. Before we left, we taught her about the Sabbath and Tithing and it was quite powerful. She agreed to come to church on Sunday. When she came to church, she brought her parents and one of her sons. Her dad decided he's going to be baptised this Sunday! Jackaline and her mom need some more time, but we´re taking them to the to the temple tonight to show them around and teach some more. Fingers crossed.

We also have transfers in a week and I'm not sure what's going to happen. I love this area, but I don´t think that I'll be staying with Sister Wagner. Still, it´s the will of god and so as the song says, "I´ll go where you want me to go, I´ll be who you want me to be, I´ll say what you want me to say." I´ll be an instrument in God´s hands, and I´ll change into the woman that I was meant to be.

So, that´s how things are going. It takes tons of patience and humility an knowing when to just smile and nod...yes mom, I am finally learning!!! I know, WOW! If you try really hard you can see and learn something every day, with every new ward, every new leader and every new companion we learn more about ourselves and about the things that we will be and the things that we won´t do in the mission and in our lives. I think of my amazing zone and district leaders in Bragaça and I learned from the best.

Well, guess that's it for now. Take care, know that all of you are in my prayers.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I love my cool sisters! Megan- great soccer playing and Brynn and her dancing hands. And wow, Eric is the primary pianist!!...awwww

Sis. Monterio got her Washington package, and she sends a huge hug to all of
you! She is so grateful and excited to visit...not sure when, but she´s coming. Mom, she says you're amazing and I agree with her.

But my week...okay. Cool stuff first. I saw an owl! It came up and sat right next to me. We have cockroches in our house and my companion screams as I kill them with my shoe. We´ve also encountered a really great person, Jackiline, who will probably be baptised this week.

Shannon had some troubling experiences with her companion this week. We chose to keep the details private. Her Zone leaders' advice was to "serve, learn to love" and then they wished her "good luck".

So, this is me. I´m working and striving to be totally obedient. If I don´t have the opportunity to train--you will not hear me complain. The problem I have is the language. I am so behind, I can understand everything but I can´t speak it. Sometimes, I´m close to my breaking point and I don´t know what to do. I´ve begged the Lord and am trying to be better, but this is just so hard. I know, wait and after the trial of your faith, but ug! And my companion is always talking down to me, always saying bad things. I want, so much, to be a good missionary.

This whole experience has reminded me so much of backstage work in the theater. I remember all of the hours and hours and hours that Mom and I, Jerry, Will, Bill and so many others put in to the stake show. Some people wanted to shine in the spotlight, and how, Mom, you always took a step back. You did your part and you didn´t need the whole world to know it. The people who really made a difference in that show, in all of the activities of the church, don´t do it for the spotlight or for the chance to be called as leaders...they do it because they were asked. It's like Dad says, it's the people who stay to clean up after an event, the people who serve because it´s what Christ would do and not because they want the whole world to know it. I think of so many unsung heroes in the stake, Diane, Schweikarts, Brother Conlin, nursery leaders and primary teachers...the helpers of the kingdom. It´s Karen Barkley and Dad at 5pm on the last day of Camp, it´s Sister Monterio making cookies for the Elders and getting up every day at exactly 6:30 as an example.
It´s Larry Colvin and Michael O´Brien. Tracy Day and how he always cried becuase he loves the YM and how he taught the boys so much. Wow, I was really lucky. It´s people who serve because they want to, not because they aspire for callings, that have influenced me so much.

Thanks for your love and support. Love ya!


Sunday, October 24, 2010


So, going to Bragança was my saving grace...literally. It was amazing to get to see Ana (we missed the wedding and had to come back before the baptism), but Ana was perfect...and what made me so happy was that the members of the ward helped her get ready for the wedding and baptism! She has so many people who are helping her to succeed. AWESOME!!!!!!! OUR JOB IS COMPLETE.

I was taught correctly, Sister Monterio is the best missionary I know. I miss serving with her!

Thursday morning, my companion and I had to go to Campinas because ELDER SOARES OF THE 70 was having a meeting with us. YES MEG, THIS IS AN 'Oh my gosh' YOU GUYS MOMENT...and we had to be in Campinas at 11am. The meeting would start at 1. We got up at 5:30, studied, and I was ready to go at 9:30...but my companion wanted to have one of the Young Women do her hair...and it took until 10:50. I told her time and time again that we had to leave. Well, after that, I took control and with 21 years of traveling experience in my pocket(thanks mom and dad), got us on a bus, then got us a taxi and managed to get to the Chapel at 12:52 just in time for the meeting. AND THE MEETING WAS FABULOUS! I learned so much about goals, how the gospel moves us and how we must always do our part. It was fantastic.

Then Friday, we worked! We had a division and I taught and taught and taught. Saturday came and to Bragança, Sister Monterio and I went. We returned to Nova Veneza about 7:30. Then, my comp and I had to visit all of our investigators and confirm for problem. But- for unfortunate reasons, we didn't get the job done.

So, we decided that if we left Sunday morning at 7am- we could confirm with everyone. So, I set the alarm for 5. No prob, yes, I was tired, but darn it, I came on my mission to WORK! By 6:36 I had showered, dressed, done my hair, eaten breakfast and was reading my scriptures. But again, we didn't leave until 8:05 and had a poor showing of only 3 investigators in sacrament meeting. I had to give a talk and couldn't sit with them. The other person that should have sat with them, chose not to. Wasn't the best of situations.

BTW, Sister Monterio said that 13 missionaries left the Manaus Mission and only 3 arrived. Her town has been closed for missionaries as well as all of the towns in the inferio of the Amazon. Where is Eric?

Love you, proud of you all. I need your prayers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So modern miracle, President Tanner autoritized my and Sister Monterio's return to Bragança for the wedding and baptism of BOTH ANA AND GILSON!!!!!!! YEAH!!! And tommarow we have a multi zone conference with Elder Sorres of the 70! Wow, I am so excited.

The last week has been hard, though. I feel as if I am not doing my very best here. The days seem to drag on, many people are willing to listen to us but none want to make committments to have the gospel in their lives fully. Our baptisms fell though on Saturday, and so Sister Wagner and I went to go talk to them...and Sister Wagner told me that I was giving the lesson on faith, which totally freaked me out, so before we walked in, we said a prayer for the spirit to guide our words, and with courage in our callings, we began to talk to them. We read Alma 32:21 when it talks about hoping for things not seen, and then I asked them what their greatest desires were, and then went on to say that only through baptism and the gospel of Jesus Christ can we have those desires of family, health, and happiness. Sister Wagner actually said afterwards that my Portuguese was near perfect, which as everyone who is reading my blog knows, is quite an accomplishment...the Spirit was helping alot. After, Sister Wagner began to speak about the atonement but they were having doubts and so she went to call the zone leaders for help, leaving me alone in the room, and I didn´t know what to say. I ended up bearing my testimony about my baptism, about how after I felt the happiness of heaven and how it was a perfect moment for both me and my dad. They said they will come to church on we will see.

I know without a doubt how powerful diligence and obedience are. I don´t want to give the Lord any reason NOT to bless me, and there are many things I need to do better. I feel like I´m not doing my best, but I don´t know what to do to. Paitence is an attribute that I have to learn, as well how to pray more specifically. I have so many faults, so many imperfections and all I can do is take them to the Lord and learn. Prayer and knowledge, we had a fast yesterday, so we´ll see if we can meet the elect.

Also yesterday when we were at a members house, they had the tv on, and it was Home Alone, at the last part when John Williams music is perfect and everyone is home for a white christmas and I had to walk out of the room because it reminded me that I won´t be home for Christmas.

Anyway, I love you guys. Dad, good luck with stake conference...if you want to add that along with scout masters, primary teachers, and people who stay to clean up after activities, that those who write letters and send packages to missionaries in Brasil get an automatic pass to the celestial kingdom, I don´t have a problem with that. I love you all, Shan

Sunday, October 10, 2010


First off, could you email me Elder Holland´s talk? I missed it...I know, tear! My companion was sick and we missed that session. I got to hear all of the others and they were great. President Monson´s talk was, as always, great. I heard that Uchdorf gave an amazing talk in Priesthood, and I really liked Eyring and Elder Gong.

I received your package yesterday. The Ranch dressing is amazing and I´ve already eaten all of the goldfish!

Shout out to the Amazing Emily, Patricia, and Amanda. You will all have letters!

So, patience, my friends. Patience. My companion is a good missionary and she works hard... God gave me her for a reason. She is helping me with my portuguese, in every setting, and corrects me during lessons, on the street and with other missionaries, and so, yes, I get embarrassed but if this is what I need to speak better than so be it. Prayer is my friend, and I´m trying to be totally obedient.

My Saving Grace is that my dear Sister Monterio is in my district and we had a chance to talk yesterday. I miss my elders, we were all really close. No word yet if President is going to let us return to Bragança for Ana´s wedding and Baptism, but I´m praying that he will.

We´ve been working a ton and have three baptisms for this week. I know that I need to be more humble and listen more and that is what I am going to do. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and Sister Monterio´s mom has adopted Eric and is sending him food and other cool stuff...small world.

To Dad:
Things I would say if I were speaking in Stake conference

Pray-You have your best friend and your loving Father and they love it when you talk to them

Read your scriptures, you will have peace.

Go to the temple often, you live really close to it. Seriously, I am quite jealous of all of you. If you can´t go in, walk around the grounds. You are some of the luckiest people in the world.

Help with missionary work, GIVE THE MISSIONARIES PEOPLE TO TEACH. This is the salvation of our souls.

Hang out with your family and make happy memories. Families are the most important thing on this earth. Life is too short for regrets.

Remember that you choose to be happy.

Always do your part.

Home and Visiting Teaching is not a responsibility, it is an act of love.

Love everyone and serve every day.

Joseph Smith saw God. When we read the first vision, you know in your heart that it is true.

Write and send Christmas gifts to missionaries in Brasil :) JK on the last one.

The gospel is simple, the gospel is perfect and our God and Savior are perfect.

Anyway, love ya,

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sister Monterio´s mom has officially adopted Eric and is sending him presents in Manaus...good times!

Well, all good things must end...and that includes Bragança Paulista. Dad, you called it, Bragança has been closed to sister missionaries and elders now live there. We were told Tuesday afternoon and spent the day cleaning out the house, updating the area book, and crying as we said 'goodbye' to our friends. But, we (Sister Monteiro and I) are going back on October 16th for Ana´s wedding...I hope.

I am now in a city called Sumare, my ward is called Nova Veneza...and Sister Monterio is in the same zone, so good times. My new house is larger than my last, but they didn't get it cleaned up, and we've had to spend the day cleaning the new house. Sometimes, I just feel like I'm here to be responsible and walk and walk and walk. My companion is from Southern Brazil and is named Sister Wagner. She's been out for 15 months...yeah, boa sorte for me... I'm her 13th companion, but this area is good. The members are excited to help us, already we have gone out with one, and the food! All the sisters are a bit larger after serving here.

We get to watch Conference, as long as we have investigators!!!

Love you all! Pictures to come!
-Sister Shannon Stapley

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Hi everyone!
Sister Monteiro´s mom talked to Eric this week...he´s doing GREAT, and he says that President will probably let him visit Sister Monteiro´s city in December, when she returns...I´m excited! I´m getting a package ready to send to him, dvd´s, music, and photos...cause he doesn´t have a temple in his mission. I´m pretty much ready to break into ``ìt´s a small world after all...``

I taught Sister Monterio how to make Deviled Eggs this week and she loves them!! Woot woot :)

My pretty amazing district had a great morning today- playing soccer, dodgeball and american football...and yes, I participated...the elders laughed at me and my non excistant hand and eye coordination...Guilherme and Gabi came and had a great time with th elders. It was great, but now one of the elders tuggs at my ponytail every time he see´s me, ah it´s life.

Right now I´m in Itatiba (another city) with my amazing Sister Monterio, Elder Soza Santos, Elder Murri, Elder Cook, Elder Dunn, Elder Pedrozo and Elder Rhodes...we´re going to have lunch and then go to the zoo! Festa!!! Transfers are Tuesday, and Pedrozo says anything could be prepared for everything...and that one of us will probably be in another city this time next week...honestly, I would really like to stay here, our district is cool, and our zone leaders, Elders Pedrozo and Rhodes are pretty much perfect...yeah, everyone else is as well, and I´ve come to love the people in Braganca... But I hope that this area isn´t closed, we have Ana and Gilson´s marriage at 9am on October 16, 2010 and then their baptisms after!!!! So if one of us is transfered, we have to come back...Sister Monterio has to because she is a witness (I could not be a witness because I´m an American.)

We´re working a ton with Guilherme...he´s ready, but we just need to convince his mom that this is right for him, and that she needs to trust more in God than in man. She talked to Elder Pedrozo Monday night when it was raining, and told him bossily, that she wasn´t going to let us leave until the rain had stopped and she fed us dinner (this was at 8:45pm, we have to be home at maximum 9:30...) so yeah the Elders all know about her now, and yes, we got home before 10:30, but just barely...and yes, Dinner was very very good.
As well, the past two days it´s been raining, and oh, it has been amazing! I danced in the rain last night, Sister Monteiro thinks that I´m crazy, but it was so amazing, I was soaked, but YES, I was so happy. Yeah for dancing in the rain. I have photos of everything but right now, Elder Rhodes has to mail them to his family, and after Elder Duhn and after Elder I hope I´ll have a chance to send you guys some cool photos. They are taking care of me and Sister Monterio...Elder Duhn called Sister Monterio and me the soul of the district, and Elder Rhodes said that having sisters in a zone, was like when your mom and dad had a day off and the two of you just had a day of adventures and that it feels like magic, and that feeling of magic is in us.

Anyway, that´s all. Take care and WRITE ME!!! I´ll probably get my package this week...YEAH! Love you! -Sister Shan

Braganca Paulista

Yeah! Ana and Jilson will marry and Ana will be baptized!! A miracle, now we just have to wait 30 days for processing and paper work...Satan was really smart when he created lousy government employees and long processing lines. Seriously, what´s so hard about two people saying YES to an eternal commitment, two witnesses, and a member of the government that says, "sign here, here, and here"? Well, a 30 day wait, and paperwork...gosh, I´m rolling my eyes. Seriously?!

This week was good. We pretty much have the coolest district ever, our zone leaders are totally awesome! Yesterday in District meeting, they pulled us into a room and said, "Congragulations" for our work, that we have the best numbers in the zone...and so, they want us to find a good man, teach him the gospel (especially the law of tithing) and baptise him. Good luck, and tchu... So we´re going to do our best. We had an great day of cooking (Elder Rhodes made us American cookies, Sister Monteiro and I made tapioka for the elders), of studying, and of learning about the new lessons. Yesterday was all about Teaching our Investigators how to properly pray, many elders had great ideas on how to help.

Right now, our whole district and our zone leaders are with us in Bragança, we´re going to have a festa and play football americana, football, and a whole lot of other stuff...oh and they are buying us lunch! YEAH!!!

Monday was the first ever SISTER CONFERENCE!!! YEAH, we went to Campinas and had a meeting with just the Sisters, all 19 of are on the way. It was great to get to talk to Sister Poast and Sister Ririe, they are doing well and working really hard. It´s great to see how we are all progressing, though my Portuguese is still by far the worst. We talked about problems we have as sisters, of the beauty and joy of American Medicine-Ibuprofin and other things, as well as the problems we are having in our areas. A ton of areas have problems with the members, people not helping, and not trusting us very much. We discussed how to build trust with our wards and branches, especially with the leaders of the church. We also had lunch, and we had cinnimon rolls...I was in heaven. As well, all of the sisters are a bit larger, and I am still the skinniest, but I too have gained weight and need to go on "a week before a show opens" diet soon (meaning no eating and working really really hard and stressing out...)

Thursday night was not an easy night for us. We were sleeping and the people who live above us, Sister Jama and Brother Alfonso got a phone call that their son who lives in Bihia had died...and Sister Jama is pretty old and very weak, she cried and had to go to the hospital.

We´re working with two people to get baptised this Saturday, Ilda and Kayla. Kalya is one of my ``little women,`` she´s Julia´s older Sister, and Karol and Inara´s cousin. She´s been to church a few times, and we´ve been teaching her. Today we´re going to teach her about the Atonement and usually that finalizes about the baptism, so have faith and hope that her mother autoritizes it.

Ilda is a dear older lady who has had much suffering in her life. She lives in one of the poorest homes I have ever visited, with her daughter Camilla, and Camilla´s two children, Lucas and Joao, her two Granddaughters, Rosaria and Tyna and their children, Bebe and Tiago...yeah. Camilla is a dear, she works and helps Ilda pay for the house, but Rosaria and Tyna do not work and go out and party every night and Ilda is left to take care of the four children...yeah, I would like to have some words with Rosaria and Tyna. Ilda loves us and she says she knows that the Book of Mormon is true but that she needs to think about it some more...hope for a great lesson on faith tonight.

I´ve been studying a lot more on the subject of dillegence and obedience. I have been studying the words of Alma to his two missionary sons, Shiblon and Corianton. Shiblon had a difficult mission, but he worked and was dillagent and paitent. Corianton on the other hand, well, not so of the most powerful verses is when Alma says that because of Corianton´s example, people did not believe or listen to him when he taught...ouch. This is the thing as missionaries, as members of the one true church must remember, that we have a duty to this Gospel, and that our examples, for better or for worse, are part of the church´s image. Do well thy part, and someone is always watching (Megan- if you can guess those two movie quotes you´ll have a jersy in the mail for your birthday.)

Anyway, I love you guys and hope all is well. Take care of yourselves and I´ll write you guys in a week. I pray for you guys every night and morning and every day am eternally grateful to have such an amazing family. All the best, Shan

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Well...first off, Sister Monterio is sick. We spent 3 days in the house...yeah, I was going loco!! We bought her medicine. She has pain in her ear, but the doctors say that it´s normal...but she can´t hear very well, and she says it´s not normal...any advice?

As I said, we spent all Wed, Thur, Sat and most of Sunday in the house because of sickness. Yep, not fun. Cleaned the house, studied my Portuguese, read the Articles of Faith by Talmage. But even with the sickness that my companion had, we still somehow did better than all the Elders in our zone. Dad-it was the worst numbers I´ve had on my mission. Yesterday, the assistants visited our zone and they and our two zone leaders gave Sister Monterio a blessing. It was very powerful. The assistant are Sister Monteiro´s former zone leaders and you can tell that they love her. When the blessing was given, (it was just the six of us in a room), I could see the power that they had...they were literally glowing with light and love for my companion.

However, I do have a piece of advice for you guys on how to help with missionary work. On Thursday, we wanted to have a division, so I could visit Zilda, Camilla and their family. I called every sister in the ward and not one was willing to help. Either people were sick or had things to do. Not one person could spare two hours. It was quite disheartening, but Sister Monterio and I are choosing not to dwell on it and to keep working. We´ve encountered some great new people and we are doing everything we can. The fear is that with three sister missionaries returning home, and we are not recieving one new sister, some areas will be closed. Sister Monterio and I are working hard so Bragança won´t be one of those areas...because if we leave, Ana will not get baptised. Now we´re waiting for either a miracle or some bright spark of an idea. Ana knows everything, she helps Gabi with her personal progress, Bella gave a talk two weeks ago, and Carol gets to give one this week (though she´s very nervous because she can´t read...she´s 6) So, if missionaries ask for something, try to help them. And yes, that includes home and visiting teaching...teaching with love and not with responsibility.

I´ve been studying alot about following the spirit and having the spirit with us constantly. It is quite a comfort to know that when we speak with the spirit, that our investigators' hearts will be touched. We need to constantly be praying, reading the scriptures, being obedient, you know... Sunday School Answers, but when we do, hearts will be touched and people will be baptised.

I hope all is well with you, I think and pray for you all often.
All my love,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Wow!!! Everyone is starting new...Erynn -BYU, Megan -IHS, Brynn- PCMS, and Callan- homeschooling! Boa Sorte!

Emily Zim. -YOU ROCK, and your letter had me in tears!!!! Thanks to everyone else who wrote me, you will all have letters...eventually!! CS, KS, CF, AW, MK
Thank you, all!!!
Well, I believe that I have found the problem to why so many people in this ward are inactive...ready everyone, HOME TEACHERS! Apparently, the only people who get home teachers are families where the mom and the dad are members. (This is for all of Brasil). This to me is absurd. If you are single or a child or a youth, you don´t get home teachers, and if you have a problem you have to call the bishop. As well, many people here don´t do their home/visiting teaching, so people don´t feel like they have a friend. This is really weird for me. My home teachers, Michael and Tracy, Brother French, Daric and Brennon, Colby and Brother Toborg and Daniel, they were friends to my family! If we ever needed anything, they were there to help us. This concept of taking care of yourself and not of others was evident when we visited with the father of Ricardo, the boy who can´t get baptised. It was a very spiritual expirience. He has run off every other pair of sister missionaries, but he talked to us for 2 hours. He expressed his concerns with the the ward. We challenged him to help us, to not allow someone else´s mistake keep him from the Celestial Kingdom. We then talked about how his actions are hurting his son. This man has a huge testimony of the gospel and if he returns he will be a great asset to the missionaries. It´s sad because this ward has the most beautiful chapel but the members don´t want responsiblity. Dad-if you have any advice, please let me know.
Last week we encountered a family of women. A woman, her daughter, three granddaughters and 4 great grandchildren that live far away and are very very poor. We were praying about how we could help them get to church. We called and asked some of the members who have a car if they could help, and they said yes and to be at the church at 8:30, and they would meet us. When they got there it was 8:50, and the Sister said that she couldn´t go get them because she had to teach the first hour. Her husband as well said that he had other commitments. During this time, their son, (he´s an RM) was dumfounded. He said, Mom you told the sisters you´d help which she replied, I can´t. The son then took the car keys and went and picked up the woman, her daughter and three of the children. After this, Sister Monterio gave an amazing talk on love and charity and I gave my talk on member missionaries (I told about how we would drive Suzanne to church. Sister Patricia, who drives her two children as well as my Julia, Inara and Karol to church said that my mom was ''poderossa...powerful) Afterwards, some of the members helped drive our investigators home...but still. This ward is a ward that only really funtions on Sundays.
We are working with a woman named Zilda, to be baptised this Saturday. I have faith that it will all work out. We are using 4-5 buses a day, going to Santa Luzia and then after for Torozino to teach the older sister of Julia, Kaila (Yippie), she is interested but wants to go to church for awhile before making a choice to be baptised. So we will see what happens.
Another good thing for everyone to know is that CAKE MAKES FRIENDSHIP. We had our first district reunion yesterday, Sister Monterio, Me and 14 Elders. As well, last week most of the Elders were in Campinas getting training for the new lessons, so we decided to make them cake. The Elders were so thrilled, they ate everything. It was cool, everyone is super hyped to be working and baptising, so fingers crossed for the best.

I hope that you´re all you all, Shan

Braganca Paulista

Well...this week was like all other weeks, walking in circles pretty much. We´ve been teaching two sisters, Louara and Linara, ages 15 and 11. Louara and Linara know that the church is true. They've prayed and want to be baptised. Isn´t is wonderful that children know the gospel and feel more strongly than adults? But as always...opposition in all this. Their stepdad hates us, so we visit when he´s not in the house, but last night when we got there, he hadn´t left for work. We were talking at the gate when Linara said, "run, he´s coming, go!" So, we ran to the park for 20 mins. Afterwards, Linara came out and talked to us. Sister Monterio says that there isn´t much that we can do, and if the Dad doesn't like us and the Mom doesn´t permitt Linara to get baptised. It´s really sad and I don´t know what to do. Prayer, paitence and faith.

As well, Sister Monterio is very tired. She´s been here for four transfers, and refers to Braganca as her Gethsemany. The area, not me...the hills day after day, she´s been sick and we haven´t had much luck in baptising. Yes, people will listen to us, but no one wants to get baptised. No one wants to pray to God. It´s not that hard, praying, I mean. What do these people have to loose by asking? No one here is married, which is difficult as well. I´m tired as well, but to me, no one wanting to listen to us is normal, but Sister Monterio has served in the Celestial Kingdom (her last area) and so this is very very hard for her. She´s frustrated and doesn´t know how to help the people here. So, I´m trying to keep her happy and to make her laugh. She told me a few days ago that when we get to heaven and are judged all we will have to say is that, ``I served in Bragança Paulista,`` and God will say, ``Enter.``

As well, we visited Ana last night. We watched a clip from Thomas S. Monson´s life, and after the movie, the power went out and Bella and Carol ran outside. It was just Sister Monterio, Gabbie, Ana and I. Ana said that she´s been reading in the scriptures and in the Principes of the Gospel book and says that she isn´t worthy to take the sacrament because she isn´t married to Jilson. She's worried she isn´t keeping all of the commandments. She wants to get married, and be baptised. The problem is that it is very very very difficult to get married in Braganca. She needs 263.36 Reais (123 dollars) to get married. This family doesn´t have enough money to always have light and water in their house. They have a tiny kitchen, a bathroom and two tiny rooms (think smaller than the size of our club house) and no money whatsoever. Sister Monterio and I have prayed and fasted for them. We´ve tried talking to the marriage office about a free wedding, we´ve asked the bishop for help (he said no, Stake rules and all that), and we´ve been waiting with faith, but nothing. We´re having a fast for them on Friday and we´ll go to the wedding office on Monday or Tuesday and ask again for a free wedding. Ana will be a strong member of the church, a leader. Last night she talked about the speakers in Sacrement meeting and what she would have said if asked to speak. As well, Bella gave a talk in primary about faith and miracles...she talked about Daniel and the Lions Den (and Carol held up my gospel art book with the picture of Daniel.) It was wonderful, the leaders said so as well.

The Gospel is true, even in the difficult areas. Remember it will all be okay in the end, and if it´s not okay then it´s not the end. I hope you´re all well.

Sister Stapley

Braganca Paulista

ESPOSSO BONITO (Beautiful Husband Hill)
Transfers went down this week. My companion and I are still in Braganca Paulista. 3 transfers! ...yep, it´s good that I love my companion. We actually work well together and were both excited to stay. But...42 more days of Esposso Bonito (Beautiful Husband)...the hill we have to climb every day, usually many times every day. (see picture) Our Mission President is talking to our stake president about retention of new converts. We are, however, the two only sisters in our zone. The other sisters were transfered, so it´s just us and 14 Elders. New zl´s and dl´s as well, it´s a whole new world. It´s our new dl´s birthday on Sunday so we´re throwing him a party on Tuesday.
It is VERY VERY COLD and I need to get another jacket and some more nylons- just to stay warm. Thankfully, the landlords of our house fixed our shower so we now have a little hot water (YEAH).

Our baptism fell through, but it´s ok. The reason we couldn´t baptise him is because his father was abusive and his mom took him and his sister and ran away to Braganca. She doesn´t want him to get baptised until she goes to church and see´s that it is a safe place and a place where records are kept confidential. We´re probably going to baptise two sisters on knows that the Gospel is true and the other is going to church because she thinks one of the young men is cute. Sister Monterio says..."today a snake, tomorrow a leader".

Things are going well, we are working hard. Hope all is well at home, Shan

Monday, August 16, 2010


Julia was baptised on Saturday. It was great, the baptism was lovely, the YW sang a song.

Yesterday was our final zone conference before everyone is transfered. Two of the elders, Sister Santos, and our ZL Elder Reibero are heading home in a week, so Sister Monterio and I decided to throw a 'death' party. It was fun! We all wore black and we cried and sang 'Come, come ye saints'. We talked about all the things we had learned from the 'leaving' missionaries. Sister Monterio and I baked some cakes for the elders, and set up the room. Yes, I am the party planner of the mission.

The zone leader said that he was pleased with my progress, that people understand me, and that I have a huge gift of love. He said another great skill I have is that I know how to get things done...thanks Mom and Dad for teaching me. I know I still have a long way to go, but I´m doing okay here and am teaching, baptising and serving, I couldn´t ask for a better calling. Remember, language and everything else is secondary when you love the people and you want God to bless them. Have faith and God can do anything and everything. And he does.

We´re prob going to have a baptism this week and then next week is transfers so you´ll have a whole lot more to hear about next week. Love ya all. Shan

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Okay, this week has been interesting. The work is going along and I truly learned the power of a child´s faith. The young boy, Ricardo, got to come to church on Sunday with his parents and his cousin. It was great and his father said he could be baptized! He hasn´t told us when he'll allow it...we have faith, it´ll work out.

I have experienced a miracle. You all remember how Karol joined the church, and the next week her sister- Inara joined, but their cousin Julia didn´t because her mother wouldn´t give permission? had been about a month, and on Sunday we decided to talk to her mother again. We told the girls we were going to speak with Julia's mother again. We asked them to fast on Monday after lunch and told them that we would fast too. Monday morning, we had no idea what we were going to say to convince her to let Julia be baptised. We thought about the plan of salvation, about faith, the first discussion, but we had no idea which angle to take. So around four o'clock we took the bus to Toro and had a lesson with the girls on Scripture Study. We didn´t need to give them the lesson, they all have their scriptures marked and are working on the personal progress and Faith in God programs. After, we asked Julia to go get her mom and we said a prayer. When Julia and her mom came out, the mom´s face was very serious. Karol and Inara had hands clasped and eyes shut in prayer and Julia had her arms folded and was looking at her mom. At that moment, after singing a hymn, Sister Monterio knew exactly what to teach. We taught the first part of the first lesson, up to baptism of Jesus Christ. Julia had tears in her eyes. Sister Monterio asked Julia´s mom to allow Julia to follow the example of Jesus Christ, that this was the desire of her heart. I then spoke about how Julia knows that this is right. After, there was a long moment of silence. Julia looked at her mom, her mom looked at Julia, and her mom said..."this is what you want?" Julia nodded, and her mom said, "I´ll sign the paper." The look on those girls' faces were full of Joy, and of total happiness!! Sister Monterio and I felt like we were lighter than air but we had to remain calm. After her mom signed it, she looked at Julia and said, Ì´m not going to go to your baptism, and you know why.`` Julia nodded and said, `Mom, this is true. I know it.` The mom nodded and left and the girls gave each other huge huge hugs. Sister Monterio and I hugged them as well. It felt...well, the best I can describe it is after I put on a show and everything comes together in one perfect moment, only ten times better. This miracle was not because of us, it was because these three precious girls had perfect faith. Faith can move mountains. It moved one for us and now Julia will get baptised on Saturday. Yeah, I couldn´t stop smiling!

Sister Monterio is 98% sure that she is being transferred in two weeks and I´ll stay in Braganca. She says I´m ready and that I´m a great missionary. I´ve never worked harder than I have at learning this language and at the lessons, but I know that I´ll get to the spot I need to. It is going to be very very hard when she gets transferred, everyone loves her. We´re hoping that she gets transferred to Soccoho, where she´ll at least be in our same zone, and visit Bragança for District meetings. I´m terrified, because for the first few days I plan where we go and what we do. I hope I´m ready for a second companion. The Lord is with me every day. Sister Monterio has become a great friend and I love her.

MOM-when we visit Manaus, we need to take a boat and visit Sister Monterio's town. They have a tradition where they go boating at night and it´s all dark, but there are hundreds of fireflies and she says it looks like Christmas. ALSO-haha, there are poinsettias EVERYWHERE HERE!! I wish I could send you one for your Christmas. Only thing is, no one seems to know what they are called in Brasil.

I love you all!
Sister Shannon

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Braganca Paulista

I GOT MY PACKAGE THIS WEEK! THE SHIRTS AND EVERYTHING WERE PERFECT!!! They fit and are beautiful. I LOVE THEM ALL!!! If you are so inclined to send me more stuff...well, candy is always welcome, and so is music (motab), oh- and Jesus the Christ in English, and the last conference Ensign (May 2010) in English please!! Oh- and more toys for the kids, please! They loved the glow braclets and were sad when they didn´t glow anymore

I had my interview with President and he told me that as soon as my language is better, he's going to make me a senior. I told Sister Monterio and she said, `Well, yeah` Apparently, she, President and the Assistants (they call me neta, which means granddaughter, they were Sister Monterio´s Zone Leaders, and therefore, I am family...) think that I have been working really hard and have all the qualities to be made senior. It won´t be this transfer, or the next, but when I get this language, they all say I am going to lead people. This was really humbling and suprising to me. I don´t think that I work any harder that anyone else does, but apparently I do. Also, it´s really sad. Most of the people I´m close to will be returning home in the next 5 months. Yes, I´m hanging out with all the ``older`` kids. Ah well.

Well, I have now been to my first ward party in Brasil. Trust me when I say it was fun. If you needed proof that I live in the country...well, look at some of the pictures!! Don´t worry, most of the time no one dresses like this, but as it was a Festa Julina, some people dressed up in cowboy attire. There was lots of food, lots of laughs and lots of dancing. Mom, I made a video of one of the dances for you. It is a little cold at nights, but I´m doing alright.

Monday we had the worse lesson either of us have ever given. We watched the film...The Lamb of God, and I had a bad feeling in my stomach. After the film, we asked the investigator to be baptised on Saturday. She said she knows the gospel is true, but she doesn´t want to change. She said if she was baptised on Saturday, she'd still go out and party and drink on Sunday. Well, before we could say anything, and I mean anything, her mother started to talk and the two of them got into a screaming match right in front of us. Her mom kept talking about how disappointed God is in her and that she wasn´t helping at home. Then, the toddler grandson, started screaming and every time Sister Monterio or I went to say something, the mother stopped us. The Spirit was not in the room. So after about 20 mins of this, we finally asked to pray and are going back tonight...wish us luck.

When we arrived at our house, 2 other sister missionaries were waiting for us. They spend the night on Mondays and we go to district meetings on Tuesdays. Things have been really hard for one of the sisters. This is her last transfer, she goes home in 3 weeks, and her comp is very difficult. The comp doesn't like to work, she is rude, sarcastic, doesn´t practice and doesn´t help teach. She fakes being sick all the time, and whenever people try to help or talk to her she just brushes them off. Oh and she stays up every night watching church films. It´s horrible for the comp and she´s ready to go home. This is not how someones last transfer should go.

Yesterday, we went to the TEMPLE!! Campinas is so beautiful. (I still think Seattle is prettier.) Ana, Jilson, Gabbs, Bella and Carol all loved it. The Spirit was very strong. It was so amazing. I am so blessed when I am home that I live close to the temple. We went to the distribution center where there was a film clip of the BYU folkdancers clogging (yep) and the Young Ambassadors doing Fiddler on the Roof. They did the opening monologue and several musical selections! I can NEVER escape that show!!! We showed them all around the grounds and they loved it. Gabbs will go back in a month and do baptisms. It was very peaceful and just wonderful. The temple has such a strong power. We sang 'Families can be together Forever', and oh, it was so wonderful. Hopfully, this temple trip opened Jilson´s heart.

Well, I hope all is well with you guys. I miss you and was so grateful to get the package. Anyone who wants to write me letters is more than welcome!! Truly this is the Lord´s work and when we have faith, all things are possible. For example, 10 yr old Ricardo's mother finally told his father that she's taking Ricardo to church. And so, on Sunday, for the first time in two years, Ricardo will go to church. The spirit has a way of opening hearts and when the time is right, promting actions. I hope you all remember the lessons that you´re learning in church. Remember to read your scriptures, pray every day and the spirit will be your constant companion.
Until next week, I love you,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Braganca Paulista

First off-family buisness.
Dad-read ´Men of sound understanding´ in the Ensign Sept 2008 by Daniel's about scripture study. You´ll like it!

Wow, Wow, much has happened this week. Thursday, we went to Campinas and met the new mission president. The other two sisters in our Zone, Sister Lira and Sister Santos spent the night at our house since we had to leave at 5am. We now have a new way to teach. There are, now, 8 lessons, not 6, though it´s more of fine tuning. I´ll get it figured out. Because we have a new mission president, we'll get changes that other missions won´t get for a conferences only once every three months instead of once a month.

The mission president, President Tanner, is really cool. I love his wife! It wasn´t a full multi-zone meeting, so there were only 10 sisters and only two are Americans. Sister Tanner doesn't speak Portuguese, so I got to talk to her for a while. She´s amazing!

My packages arrived and I'll get them tommorow when we have interviews with President and the Assistants!!!

On Sunday, there was a Pioneer Day broadcast from Salt Lake. It was actually about the Motabs! The Motab sang some of their hits...Battle Hymn of the Republic, Hallelulah, etc. The orchastra played as well, and oh, I was happy! Most of the ward was there, I´m pretty sure I was the only person who understood all the words. I almost started crying when the choir sang, 'Amazing Grace', and did cry when they sang 'Climb Every Mountain' ...and nearly died of laughter when they sang '76 troumbones' (no- I´m not kidding) and 'It´s a Grand Night for Singing.' Yep, musicals follow me everywhere!

On Saturday we went on splits. I took Gabi with me, and we visited 5 of our investigators and did our contactos. I admit, I was kind of nervous, as anyone will tell you, my portuguese is quite horrible (I´m serious), but everyone has a lot of patience for me. Thankfully, all was well, and we had some very strong spiritual moments. Sister Monterio said it was a training for me for when she leaves...for the first two weeks, I´ll be senior, showing my new companion around and introducing her to everyone (even though I don´t speak well). Apparently, it went so well that either this week or next we´ll do it for a whole day with Sister Lira and Sister Santos. Honestly, that scares me!

There are 18 sisters in my mission. 6 of us are American, the other 12 Brazillian. My companion's parents saw a picture of Eric (they live in Manaus), they think he's very handsome.

Still teaching, though not as much. It´s vacation and tons of people are gone...but WE´RE TAKING ANA, JILSON, GABI, BELLA, AND CAROL to the TEMPLE on Tuesday. Our ward is taking a van, and we get to take them!!! So excited for the temple! So, in one week- pictures!!! Oh, I´m so so happy!

Talita still has some issues to work through, but we´re hopeful. Yesterday, we tracted into two men, who honestly scared me. One of them went to kiss my hand and after asked me to move in with them. The other man put Sister Monterio´s hand on his head and asked her to bless him. They were both fairly drunk. I told them I had a very serious boyfriend, and afterwards Sister Monterio said I should have a picture of my `boyfriend` to show to these people. Rolling of my eyes, seriously!

Anyway, love you all, take care, Shan

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Hey family and everyone else!

We had another baptism on Saturday. His name is Jean and he’s been coming to church with one of the Sisters in the ward. He’s 12 years old and it’s all good. The baptism was nice, and the Bishop (to the surprise of my companion) asked if he could help us. So, hearts are being softened here.

What else is new? Oh yeah, remember how my companion has been sick lately?’s gotten worse. She has a really bad cold, complete with issues with nose, throat and coughing. So, we called the new Mission President’s wife...who doesn’t speak Portuguese, and I had my first English conversation in a few months...only problem was, I couldn’t remember all the words in English. YES!!!!! So, Sister Monterio spent all of Monday in bed and so I spent all of Monday cleaning, studying Portuguese, and yeah...this was how bored I got, wrote a play. Yep...complete with stage notes.

And now, Rainy Seattle has come to Bragança! It’s pretty much January rain here, constantly pouring rain. I’m okay with it, well I wish I had one of my comfy sweatshirts and could wear pants instead of skirts...but I’ve got a rain coat and an umbrella. Only thing is, my companion has neither. She has a jacket, but it doesn’t have a hood, and so, she is using my umbrella. So, she’s nice and dry whereas I am the opposite...but whatever, I’ve dealt with worse rain in my life. The weather is not so great for missionaries; tons of us have colds, fevers and sour throats. I have a cold, but it’s not that bad. Our district leader wants everyone to keep working hard through the rain, but that means that most of the sicker missionaries are getting worse, not better, and that includes my companion. Yeah, I’m worried about my comp.

On Thursday though we get to meet our new mission president. Also, to just let you now how Small a World we live companion’s mother had the missionaries in her ward take a picture of Eric (since it was conference) and Eric just sent me an email where he congratulated my companion on becoming an aunt...yes he is "in the know!" Oi Vai.

Now, quick update on the awesomeness of Ana!!! Ana, after praying, told Jilson (the man she’s been living with for three years, but he’s not the father of Gabi, Bella or Carol) that he either needed to marry her, or she would move so that she can get baptized. This kind of freaked Jilson out, so he’s thinking about it. We want to teach him the gospel as well, but his heart is somewhat closed. So, last week we went to the marriage office to get some info. It costs 263.70 Reais (131.35 American Dollars) to get married. Seriously? I was not happy. Ana and Jilson are really poor so we prayed for a miracle. The Elders called us and told us that there is a loophole for poor people, so on Friday we’re going to look into that. Sweet!!!

Also, Talita-Inez´s daughter says she finally wants to get baptized!!! SWEET!!!!!!!! Fingers crossed.

As I have been rereading the Book of Mormon over the last few weeks, I have been very impressed with the later chapters of Alma. I could re-read those passages every day. The people of Ammon, Zoramites and the council of Alma to his sons are so wonderful. Also, when reading Preach my Gospel and some Conference talks, I have realized how everyone says you need faith, hope and charity. It’s a three way stool. I love Elder Uchdorf's talk on hope, on how when faith is eroded, hope is there to lift us up and to keep us standing. It’s those three things that are so important to all of us today. If we all cultivated those three characteristics, the world would be such a better place.

The blessings we get from living the gospel are limitless and I am so thankful to have them in my life. Til next week.

Love, Sister Shannon Stapley

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Braganca Paulista

First off, please tell Ty Bailey he’s in my prayers, and thank him for all the lessons he gave me, my Sunday School Class and Eric. He’s gonna beat this!

So much has happened this week. First off, remember how I talked about the family of Ana? Well...Ana said she’ll get married and we baptized her older daughters Bella and Gabi on Saturday. We then baptized Karoline's sister Inara. It was really special. Karoline and Inara´s mom and Dad came and cried when we showed the “Come thou Font” pictures of Christ slideshow. It was really great. I was a tiny bit sad’s why. Karoline and Inara have a cousin named Julia who’s been taking the discussions with Inara, and she was going to get baptized on Saturday as well, but when the Elders came and gave her her interview, her Mother came out and started screaming at all of us...Karoline, Inara, Julia, me, my companion, the two elders and Karoline’s mom...saying that she didn’t want her daughter baptized. She said that Julia has to attend church for a year first. By the time she was done shouting, Julia, Karoline and Karoline’s mom was crying. It was really really hard. We talked to Julia about having faith, and Julia says that if she has to wait a year she will, because she knows the church is true. So, we’re all hoping for the best.

In Brazil we have what we call “Snakes” and “Scorpions”. Snakes are girls who only listen to the elders because they think they are cute and scorpions are men who are well...insert word of choice here. For the most part, we haven’t had that many, but that changed! Remember Inez, the first woman we baptized? Well, she has a sister named Maria and we went to teach her the first lesson. Her two sons were there. But one of them left the room after the lesson. Maria’s older son, Marcus, who was either drunk when we taught the lesson or had taken too many drugs in the past, was very loud. Whenever Sister Monterio spoke, he said he wanted me to speak...which was awkward. He asked when I was returning home, and I said in a year and a half. He then said if I married a Brazilian, I could stay in Brazil. I quickly told him that I had a boyfriend (white lie, I know), and Marcus said he didn’t care. He then grabbed my wrist. Now at this moment, I was pretty much ready to punch him in the face, but Sister Monterio defused the situation, and we smiled and left. can all laugh now, but I am not excited to return to Maria’s house.

A new woman investigator came to church on Sunday, her name is Ana Paula, and she wanted us to give her the lessons. But, she lived very very far away. We had a family drive us to the appointment...and we drove to the boonies, think rural Idaho, only less houses. Dirt roads, trees, corn and lots of nothingness. After an hour and a half we realized that we were lost! We were laughing though, anyway, we finally found her house at 9:45 pm only to have her not be at the house! So we got home at 10:15, a grand adventure!

Last P-day, we went fishing! A member of the ward has a pond in her backyard. I caught a fish...I’m very happy!

This Saturday we’re preparing a boy named Gene for baptism. He’s 13, but he wants to get baptized so we’re working with him and his grandparents.

Transfers were yesterday, and thankfully I am SAFE!!! WOOT WOOT!

Everyone is laughing at me, because I’m either really white or really red. Lots of water and ice cream help with the heat!

Love you all. We have conference in a week so “fingers crossed” I’ll get the package.

Sister Shannon Stapley

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


This week was a week of miracles. So much has happened in the last 7 days. Because it was conference we decided to get some teaching done on P-Day. We took a bus for 20 minutes and then walked another two miles ish...before we got to teach Lucianno, a man who is friends of a member. He agreed to be baptized on Saturday! Then on Thursday, we took another bus for 15 minutes and taught a 12 year old girl named Karoline. She’s best friends with a member...Bruna. So we taught Karoline at Bruna´s home. We were originally only going to teach her the first lesson. But, by the time we got to teaching her about Joseph Smith, all of us were, my companion, Karoline, Bruna, Bruna´s we asked Karoline to be baptized on Saturday, she said yes and we taught her the commandments and she said she wanted to get baptized two days later!! It was an amazing moment!! So great! We then walked the two miles to Lucianno and taught him the commandments. He needed a little help with faith but in the end he agreed to be baptized. Friday. We had the interviews, both passed with flying colors, and Karoline´s mom said that she could be baptized!

So we had TWO baptisms on Saturday. Karoline was so excited, she was filled with the light of Christ. She was beaming as she came out of the water. She is going to be a great leader in the church. Bruna, her friend as well. Karoline brought her sister, Inara and her cousin Julia to the baptism and we’ve been teaching them. They both want to be baptized on Saturday. Fingers crossed!!!

As well as Inara and Julia, Bella, Carol, Gabbi and Ana came to the baptism. Bella jumping up and down said that she wants to be baptized on Saturday so we’ve been working with her. They are all so excited, we are teaching them the law of chastity tonight and hoping that Ana will see that she should marry the man she’s living with.

We’ve been teaching so much. And the Lord has blessed us through our efforts. 12 non members came to church on Sunday. We’ve been teaching them all. Yes, I’ve had a bit of a challenge here, but I love being a missionary. It is so amazing. I love it so so much.

Love you all!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Hey everyone!

Yesterday was conference, it was good but I didn't get your package. Next time...I hope. But I got wonderful letters from the Zeke Hsu family (Lucas drew me a picture! I hung it up.) Amanda Brown and Patricia Summerall. As well...I got a gift package from Grandma care of Mr. Cheney's. Thank you all! You all have letters coming your way.

I have now spent 7 hours in a Brazillian ER. Nope, not kidding. Although it´s pretty much the same as an American ER. Lots of people coughing and crying. Don´t worry everyone, I´m ok. My companion has a really bad cold and so she went to the ER. She (and by extension me) spent 3 hours waiting to be called, and I sat around for 4 hours after that. It was boring...and hard because the World Cup was on and we aren't allowed to watch it. So, I pretty much read my bible in Portuguese for 7 hours.

Yesterday was conference! It was great to see members of my CTM district. Sister Poast (she says thanks for the letter btw), Elder Corbitt, Elder Rathsmusen and I found a corner and talked for 20 mins. It was great to get to talk to them. One elder I know is having a tough time, his companion (a brazillian) doesn't have any patience and hates speaking he's in the dark half the time. Oh...HAPPINESS, I GOT MY PILLOW! HAPPY FACE!

Every week we have a fast for our investigators and to find new ones. Last week, after finishing (we go lunch to lunch) we met this woman named Ana. She has three daughters, Gabi, Bella and Carol (13,9,6). We taught them the first lesson. The spirit was so strong. On Sunday, Bella, Carol and Ana came with us to church! Ana needs to get married to her husband, but if she says YES, and fingers crossed, we can baptize them as a family...if it takes more time, Bella wants to get baptized on Saturday. I love this family!!!

In conference, President Castro Deus said something that I really liked. He said on our name tags we have three names. The first is our Family name-the name of our birthright, of the sacrifices of our family, of our personal history. The other names are of our wonderful older Brother, Jesus Christ and of the Church that we all serve. It is through these three names that we know our potential. If we don´t live up to our potential we disrespect our families and disregard all their teachings. That really hit me hard, I recognized the sacrifices of our family. Dad, Mom, Grandma Johnson, Grandma Heaton and her mom, and so on and so forth gave so much to their families. None of the women in my history ever sat around waiting for something to happen, they made their own stories. And that is what I am doing now. I´m paving a path that I can be proud to stand on, proud to show my children.

Also at conference, we received old Laihona magazines both in English and Portuguese (HAPPINESS!!!) In the October 2009 issue, I read Elder Holland´s talk on the Book of Mormon. Dad- I was reminded of you. Now, I´m not an apostle or a leader, but I too have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph was a prophet. Thanks Dad, for sharing that experience with me, I´m gonna always remember that

On Sunday I fell and twisted my ankle. I was fine after 2 Tylenol and some rest. Whenever it´s a world cup Brazil game, we have to stay in the house, so I didn't have to walk much anyway. The food´s good. I eat a ton of bread. I love rice and beans, the salads are great too. Meat is yummy. I have found that I can only drink water...whenever I drink anything else I get sick. Seriously... sprite, juice, anything. Oh, and two nights ago when we were visiting Inez, she was making Ginger tea and she gave us a ginger root. Whenever I smell it, I feel like I´m at Benihana's Restaurant! Monday night, we visited a family for family night and they made SCONES!!! Well, scones without the sugar, but still, I was in heaven. Yeah it´s really hot. Everyone says I´m either really white or really red...whatever!
Happy Birthday, Brynn! Cally- draw me a picture! Miss you all!
Sister Shan

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Hey everyone!!

I had my first baptism this week!! WOOT!!!!!! PARTY! Her name is Inez and she has two children. She made me this beautiful necklace. We´re teaching her daughter, Talita, who has this beautiful 4 year old son named Gabriel. She works a lot. Talita knows the gospel will make her happy, and needs to see that breaking the commandments drinking won´t. They live with Inez and her brother, a 22 year old.

So, as many of you have guessed...Portuguese is not my strong suit! Words, phrases and things that have come so simple to me since I was a little child (as many of you can attest...I talk a lot) are now a struggle. Yes, you heard me, it´s hard for me to talk (yep, all of my teachers can now laugh their heads off). This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and I´m working super hard. It´s coming, and I´ve developed a ton of patience. My area has lots of hills(not a problem for me), and my companion thinks this is a huge `city` (Mercer Island size- maybe a little bigger).

Similar to Eric mission, the baptism font in our ward has issues and the water is freezing! Initially, and the ward wanted us to wait until the font was fixed, but our investigator wanted to get baptized, we moved ahead and had the baptism!!! YEAH...FIRST BAPTISM!!! It was really cold when Inez got baptized. But her smile was worth it. Then the next day she got the Holy Ghost. It was awesome!!!

This ward is kind and they feed us every day and they are trying to help the missionaries. I've also learned that even if there are leaders that may not appreciate the missionaries, I still will respect them. It is a good lesson to learn. I´m praying that everyone´s hearts will be softened. Because I don´t speak very good Portuguese, I don't know how to ask everyone to get along and get to work. It's showing me that I can´t be negative.

Sister Monterio has been sick this week so we haven´t been teaching as many people. She is from a small town and is not used to a bigger area and how long it talkes to get to our appointments. To get to Inez and Talita, we have a member drive us or we take the bus. The first day we waited for the bus, (Sister Monterio said only one bus went there) and that bus never showed up. So we had to cancel the appt. The next day, when walking, I picked up a bus schedule and discovered we could have taken two other buses to get to Inez and yeah, I'm getting know the city pretty well. I really don´t want to get transferred because this is a decent sized for me and we have a huge chapel. Every week for zone conference, we walk all of five minutes to the chapel and everyone else has to take buses from other cities. So yeah, I like it here.

Yesterday was Cupo do Mundo! (World Cup) We aren't able to watch and had to stay in our house. Outside, there's lots of screaming for goals and fireworks. Lots and lots of fun! But we took pics and are sending them to you. Also, we received the love of my life this week....a WASHING MACHINE!!! Such simple blessings! WOOT WOOT!

Dad asked if I could send a picture of my apartment. Mom would have a heart attack if she saw where I was living. Today...I deep cleaned the kitchen. Oh, I need a new first aid kit...Sister Monterio´s feet and fever has taken many of my supplies. I should be fine until Christmas though. Oh, and I forgot. Sister Monterio knows Eric´s mission pres. She stayed at their home for a few days before she left on her mission. She writes them both. Until recently, all missionaries in the Campinas mission got to attend the temple once every two months... now only those serving in the city of Campinas get to go. Tear.

People here are very opinionated. I've been called thin and white more times than I'd like and random men call me beautiful as I walk down the street. It's weird.
Also, all three sisters in my zone have `special` elders - that they write to in different Brazil missions. They want to know why I don´t have a `special` elder. I roll my eyes. Seriously...I write my brother, Eric!

Next week is conference so we´ll get mail! We only get letters once a transfer. Hopefully, I´ll get at least one. I´m really excited to see friends from the CTM.

Congrats on graduating´re a beautiful and amazing. Meg-YOU CUT YOUR HAIR! PICS! Brynn- Happy 11th birthday. Calley, I miss you a ton! Give Rachelle my best...she´s gonna be totally awesome!
Anyway, love ya all.

Sister Shannon Stapley

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Hey here´s what´s new this week.

First off...small blessing. My companion didn't feel well this morning and slept for an extra three hours. This gave me the opportunity to get the apartment clean. I´ll be gracious and say that it hasn't really been cleaned in 10 weeks... I spent an hour on the bathroom and it now smells fine and looks great. I scrubbed the floors and the living area and now I'm pretty much okay with where I live. My movie theater job really prepared me to clean a crappy living space! And yes, my companion is feeling better!

We have two baptisms scheduled for this week... Talita and Inez. I love them both. As well, Miriam (the 17 year old with a boyfriend and a child) committed to baptism and wants to marry her boyfriend, which is great! We have so many situations where the children are members but the mothers are not- because their `husbands` don´t want to marry them...even after 30 years!! (Or several who are married to other people.) It´s because the men's hearts are so hard.

Last week we went to the really, really poor part of town and taught 10 children. I love them already. Every time we go visit, they all run up and give us hugs. I taught them to name the colors and sing, "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" in English.

Bragança is very very's fine for me, I´m a Washingtonian....hills are no biggie, but it´s hard on my companion. Her toes are not happy with her and she is always out of breath after we walk to the church (about a 15 min walk). My ward is about the size of Mercer Island. I have James Earl Jones' look-alike in my ward. The members are very nice! They feed us everyday. We're looking forward to a mission conference on the 22nd!

Know that I have a prayer in my heart at all times. I had a feeling that the family fasted for me last Sunday, because I felt about a million times lighter that day and I know it was because of you.
I love you and am glad to be your daughter. I´m so proud of my siblings and especially my brother. I have such strong rocks with you, Dad and Mom. I´m really lucky.
'til next week,
Sister Shannon Stapley

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Braganca Paulista

CTM Sisters on Mother's Day

Hello from Braganca Paulista!

This is definitely not Seattle. I am very blessed in that my companion and I are are teaching a ton, particularly about the Restoration. I can do most of that...but the language is killing me. I know the gospel and it makes me so angry when I can´t form words to say what these people need to hear. We´re teaching so much though. When people don´t want to listen or don´t have much time, we sing them a hymn (not kidding, I sing about 10 times a day) and offer a prayer. Right now we´re teaching a man, Antonio, the commandments; a family, the plan of Salvation; and Mariam- lessons on the Word of Wisdom. We have a baptism marked for this week, 2 for next week and a family in 2 weeks.

We follow preach my gospel but when showing the explain about the apostasy we place three fingers under the pic and hold it up. Then when talking about Jesus dying we take one off, and then we take one more off when we talk about the deaths of the apostles and the photo falls. It´s quite specific.

The ward has around 150 members...the bishop seems nice. Also, there are cats, dogs and horses everywhere!!

Oh and tonight I´m teaching English to 50 people. Yep...I´m an English teacher!

We only get our mail once a transfer- because we're out in the hopefully your package will come. Our town has some pretty rich areas- but not where we are.

I miss you guys so much though. I need to count my blessings. I have a bed and a warm blanket. It´s sunny so my wet clothes dry...I have a shower (cold), well a shower head, my companion speaks a tiny bit of English and no one has spit on me. I get to email you once a week. You don´t know how happy that has made me. People here are very nice.

I'd love letters!

Love you,

Sister Shannon Stapley